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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Commentary on Getting Old


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A Q&A web site posted the following question pertaining to getting old. Below is my response:

QUESTION:


What is old age to you?


We have heard 40 is the new 30, but yet I think "old" seems to always stay the same distance for me. At 25 I thought 50 was old, at 35 I thought 60 was old, now I have hit 50, 75 is old.I know true age is more a matter of mind, but I would love to know how old you are and at what age you think you will be old.


MY ANSWER


I took a fall on the ice a few winters ago in front of the Middle School and 2 dozen 5th graders. The fall didn't hurt nearly as much as the laughter and the subsequent whispers later that year, "There goes that old guy again, do you think he might fall?"   He looked just like a helicopter!


I took a nap out in the wildlife refuge in a beautiful stand of aromatic pines. When I awoke I found two huge turkey buzzards staring at me intently from their perch nearby. I had known I was getting older but had not realized I had reached the carrion stage.


I reported a pollution spill in the Vermilion River and the Minneapolis paper picked up the story. A reader commented on the web site that the Minnesota pollution control program had now been relegated to an "Old Guy" in a vets home. 


I feel fine about getting old. It's how I am perceived by others that bothers me.

Monday, September 16, 2019

FREE SMALL BUSINESS GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING BOOKS AND SUPPLEMENTS




The below table of contents reflects free small business federal government contracting materials available at Small To Feds.


You may download the book, Small Business Federal Government Contracting and its supplement from the "Box" in the right margin below at this site.  Blue topic titles are the basic book and red topics are contained in the supplement. 

Use the links beneath the table to access more recent articles at Smalltofeds since the publication of the book and the supplement.

(Please click on image to enlarge)


























RECENT MATERIAL LINKS (Not included in Above)

SMALL BUSINESS COMPANY TRAINING

MANAGING INDUSTRY TEAMING RELATIONSHIPS

UTILIZING THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA) 

GOVERNMENT CONTRACT BID PROTESTS 

UNSOLICITED GOVERNMENT CONTRACT PROPOSALS


VITAL TIPS FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT 

FIXED PRICE VS. COST PLUS IN CONTRACTING 

MAKING AN ASUTE BID/NO BID DECISION 

THE TRUTH IN NEGOTIATIONS ACT (TINA) 


All articles are kept current on the web site.  The latest version within the book can be reached by simply clicking on the article live links.

You may also benefit from the free "Reference Materials" in the "Box" in the right margin.  Contract agreements, incorporation instructions for all the US states, guidance on marketing and business planning are all included. 

Other free books by Ken Larson, available as downloads from the "Box" include:

"A Veteran's Photo/Poetry Journal of Recovery
From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder " 


"Odyssey of Armaments" My Journey Through the Defense Industrial Complex"




Sunday, September 01, 2019

GAO Says More Veterans Heading For Veterans Homes That May Not Be Ready

Image: “Columbiacare.org

“MILITARY.COM
“The report, released Aug. 2, found the number of veterans in VA funded nursing home care is expected to total about 44,000 by 2022.
Challenges in contracting with community nursing homes (CNHs), which provide the bulk of that care, could keep the agency from being able to meet demands."
_______________________________________________________________________
“Although the number of veterans in nursing homes is expected to rise 16% between 2017 and 2022 as veterans who served in Vietnam continue to age, the VA may not be prepared to handle the increase, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
And while some of those issues may be helped by a recent VA healthcare law, known as the Mission Act, concerns remain, auditors wrote.
“While VA expects to continue placing more of the veterans needing nursing home care into CNHs, officials noted some challenges contracting with these homes,” the GAO report states. “Specifically, VA central office officials said that about 600 CNHs had decided to end their contracts with VA over the last few years for a variety of reasons. For example, officials from four of the [VA Medical Centers] we interviewed told us about CNH concerns that contract approvals can take two years, homes have difficulties meeting VA staff requirements, and VA’s payment rates were very low.”
In addition, the homes may not be able to handle the special needs some elderly veterans face, including behavioral issues or dementia, the study found.
“[VA officials] said homes may not have any of the necessary specialized equipment or trained staff, or may not have as many of these beds as needed, to meet certain veterans’ special care needs,” the report said. “VA officials told us that they are working to expand the availability of special needs care in each of the three setting.”
The VA covers the full or partial cost of nursing home care for veterans, depending on availability and the veteran’s disability rating or injuries. Veterans rated at 70 percent or higher for service-connected disabilities or those who are receiving nursing home care as the result of a service-connected disability are fully covered.
The system provides care in three types of homes. CNHs are publicly or privately owned and operated and contracted with the VA. State veterans homes are typically owned and operated under the preview of the state in which they are located. And community living centers, which often provide acute care, are owned and operated by the VA and associated with the local VA hospital.
Auditors found the VA should do a better job monitoring the quality and performance of nursing homes, an improvement that will be increasingly important as the number of veterans using the facilities increases.
VA officials contract out inspections of nursing homes, but do not regularly monitor contractors’ performance to determine whether or not inspections are being done correctly, the report said. And the way the system works with state veteran homes does not flag all quality problems, which keeps the system from tracking them.
Moreover, VA officials haven’t given VA hospital staff instructions on how to conduct on-site reviews of nursing homes without the contractor, which means they can’t hold those facilities accountable for correcting problems, the report said.
“By making enhancements to its oversight of inspections across all three settings, VA would have greater assurance that the inspections are effective in ensuring the quality of care within each setting,” the report said.
The report also recommended that VA clarify its communication on the types of nursing home care are available, giving more information on state veterans homes and how their quality compares to the other options.
VA officials generally concurred with all four recommendations. They said they plan to act on the report’s recommendation to increase oversight of inspectors while changing how issues with state veteran homes are flagged. They argued, however, that their employees don’t have the authority or oversight to inspect community nursing homes directly. They also said they would investigate whether or not it’s feasible to provide data on state veteran home quality.”